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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Big COVID Warning 


With warmer weather and more and more people getting the COVID vaccine in their arms, there are reasons to be optimistic, but we are not at the finish line yet. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Americans face the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 infections. The nation's leading infectious disease specialist and chief medical adviser to President Biden warned on Sunday that it's still not safe to travel. Read on to learn how you can stay safe during pandemic—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


Surges in Travel Cause Surges in COVID Cases

Traveling woman doing the check-in at the airport wearing a face mask.

"Whenever we see surges in travel, around certain situations like we did over the Christmas and New Year's holiday and other types of holidays, you get congregations of people, even if on the planes people are wearing masks," said Fauci on CBS' Face the Nation. "When you get to the airport, the check-in lines, the food lines for restaurants, the boarding, you see how people sometimes can be congregating together. Those are the kinds of things that invariably increase the risk of getting infected."


Cases Had Plateaued

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.

Fauci said that the U.S. had plateaued at a high level of infection, with 50,000 to 60,000 new COVID-19 cases reported daily. "What we're likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you've seen," he said. "Several states have done that. I believe it's premature."

He added: "When you're coming down from a big peak and you reach a point and start to plateau, once you stay at that plateau, you're really in danger of a surge coming up. And unfortunately, that's what we're starting to see." 

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The Third Wave a Threat to the U.S.

Female patient in oxygen mask sleeping, nurse standing by, surgery preparation

That plateau-surge pattern happened in Europe, which is in the midst of the third wave of infections and lockdowns, driven by a more contagious coronavirus variant out of the United Kingdom. The U.S. is also contending with several rapidly spreading virus variants; Fauci described the drive to vaccinate enough Americans as "almost a race."  


Loosened Restrictions Are to Blame

Waitress in medical mask inviting customer

"We take the variants seriously and are concerned, but it isn't only the variants" that are driving cases in the U.S., he said, emphasizing that loosened restrictions and spring travel was also to blame. 

Fauci added that if the country keeps up its current pace of 3 million to 3.5 million vaccinations a day, it might be safe to relax restrictions on socializing and group activities by the summer.

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How to Survive This Pandemic

Woman put on medical protective mask for protection against coronavirus.

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael